Book reviews: Literary Sojourn authors highlighted
September 7, 2017
"Perfume River," by Robert Olen Butler
This Pulitzer Prize winner and upcoming Literary Sojourn author has written a book that digs deep and leaves the reader chilled to the core. Though it occurred 40 years ago, the Vietnam War haunts several characters, each experiencing his own personal nightmares, causing physical, mental and emotional strife. This story is a poignant
reminder of the ill effects of war.
"The Pearl That Broke Its Shell," by Nadia Hashimi
This book has left me speechless. Where do I even begin? For one thing, this is a book that should not be missed. It’s a book to devour, a page turner which I literally could not put down.
The story allows you to view Afghanistan through the eyes of two young girls, related, but living in different generations, both born into a male-dominated society that values males and scorns females.
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Rahima, living in modern day Afghanistan, hopes to figure out how to exist in a society full of constant turmoil by paying close attention to the story of her great-great-grandmother, Shekiba, who lived at the beginning of the 20th century.
The chapters alternate between the characters, and one would think the modern-day story would have more hope, but both are parallel. Shekiba is beaten, abused, ridiculed, treated like dirt, given no rights … and so is the modern-day Rahima. It’s an eye-opening look at how very little has changed for women in Afghanistan in 100 years.
These books are available at Bud Werner Memorial Library and Off the Beaten Path. Virgie DeNucci is a bookseller at Off the Beaten Path.